Hillicon Valley: Trump files lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google | New cyberattacks ramp up tensions with Russia | 36 states, DC sue Google alleging antitrust violations in app store

Hillicon Valley: Trump files lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google | New cyberattacks ramp up tensions with Russia | 36 states, DC sue Google alleging antitrust violations in app store
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Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. 

Welcome and Happy Wednesday! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage. 

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE is lashing out at social media platforms again over their actions taken to ban and suspend his accounts, this time in the form of a lawsuit against Twitter, Google and Facebook as well as their CEOs. Legal experts, however, said the case will almost certainly be dismissed.


Meanwhile, the fallout from last week’s ransomware attack on software group Kaseya continues. The attack, which cybersecurity experts have linked to a Russian-based cyber criminal group, is heightening tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE has a range of options he could use to respond if the administration formally attributes the attack to Russia. 

TRUMP VS. TECH: Former President Trump is leading a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google, as well as their CEOs, over allegations of censorship after the companies took action to ban and suspend his accounts.

“Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional and it's completely un-American,” Trump said Wednesday from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

The legal action comes after the former president was permanently banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook for at least two years over posts made leading up to and in response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Spokespeople for Twitter and Facebook declined to comment. A spokesperson for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Legal experts who spoke to The Hill described the case as frivolous, predicting that it will almost certainly be dismissed in court because private companies are not subject to comply with the First Amendment, upending the basis of the complaint’s argument.

Read more about the complaint



FROSTY RELATIONS: The massive cyberattack on U.S. software company Kaseya, potentially impacting up to 1,500 businesses, is ramping up tensions between Washington and Moscow less than a month after President Biden pressed Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinKaseya denies paying hackers for decryption key after ransomware attack Fox News: 'Entirely unacceptable' for 'NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson' Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia MORE to curb such attacks. 

The crippling ransomware attack from late last week is the latest in a string of incidents linked to Russian-based cyber criminals who are viewed by many as having a green light from Putin to destabilize U.S. companies.

Biden is now under pressure to respond.

“Putin could have put out the word, ‘Back off, don’t do anything until we sort this out with the Americans.’ Clearly, he didn't do that. ... I think he’s doubled down on confrontation,” said James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“They are waiting to see if we’ll do anything. It’s actions, not words, that count with the Russians,” he added.

Read more about the tensions here. 


RANGE OF OPTIONS: The White House said Wednesday that President Biden has a “range of options” that he can choose from to respond to new Russian-linked cyberattacks, but the president hasn’t yet decided whether to take action.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiSenators scramble to save infrastructure deal Overnight Health Care: New round of vaccine mandates | Health groups call for mandates for all health workers | Rising case count reignites debate over restrictions On The Money: Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds | Trump tells Republicans to walk away | GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden MORE told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday that Biden had not decided on a course of action for responding to the ransomware attack on software company Kaseya and other potential attacks last week, there would be more to come. 

“In terms of operational considerations, obviously it is not in our interest to preview those, or preview our punches as I like to say. The president has a range of options should he determine to take action,” Psaki said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Biden administration had yet to attribute the ransomware attack to any particular actor or country, though cybersecurity experts have linked it to the Russian-based “REvil” cyber criminal group. This is the same organization the FBI linked to the ransomware attack in May on JBS USA, the nation’s largest beef provider.

Read more here.


BAD DAY FOR GOOGLE: The attorneys general of 36 states and Washington, D.C., sued Google Wednesday, alleging the company’s control over its Android app store violates antitrust laws.

The antitrust lawsuit is the third filed by states against the Silicon Valley giant.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, was not immediately made available.

Read more about the case here. 


BIG TECH AGENDA: House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBritney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Ohio) unveiled his own strategy for taking on Big Tech companies Wednesday after voting against the bipartisan proposals that were approved by the panel last month.


The document — which opens with the unsubstantiated yet popular claim that tech companies are “out to get conservatives” — includes some modest antitrust proposals aimed at empowering courts and state attorneys general to expedite cases.

It also calls for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be stripped of its antitrust enforcement authority, leaving the Justice Department’s antitrust division as the sole actor in the space. Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee ranking member Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Biden's Air Force secretary Trio of Senate Republicans urges Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Biden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks MORE (R-Utah) has introduced a similar proposal.

Read more about the strategy here. 


MORE SECURITY CONCERNS: Microsoft on Wednesday said that users of its Windows operating system should install updates after a cybersecurity company accidentally published a guide on how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service. 

CNN reported that the firm Sangfor mistakenly tweeted in late May a proof-of-concept showing that they had found a security flaw in the Windows Print Spooler service, which allows multiple people to access the same printer. 

While the firm eventually deleted the post, screenshots of it were posted other places online, prompting Microsoft to warn customers that hackers could use the vulnerability to install programs, as well as view or delete data. 


Read more here. 


THAT SEEMS REGRETTABLE: YouTube users have reported potentially objectionable content in thousands of videos recommended to them using the platform's algorithm, according to the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation.

The findings, released Wednesday, revealed many instances of YouTube recommending videos that users had marked as "regrettable" — a broad category including misinformation, violence and hate speech.

The 10-month-long investigation used crowdsourced data gathered by the foundation using an extension for its Firefox web browser as well as a browser extension created for Chrome users to report potentially problematic content.

Read more about the investigation here. 

An op-ed to chew on: Should it be illegal to pay ransom? 

Lighter click: The most important advice 


QAnon's new 'plan'? Run for school board (NBC / Ben Collins)

Ransomware hackers may be in over their heads. They may not even get paid (Daily Beast / Shannon Vavra)

UK judge gives US a shot to appeal denial of Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangePodcast host Katie Halper: Trump opponents should be against Assange extradition Hillicon Valley: Trump files lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google | New cyberattacks ramp up tensions with Russia | 36 states, DC sue Google alleging antitrust violations in app store British court allows US to appeal Assange extradition decision MORE’s extradition (CyberScoop / Tonya Riley)

Three months, 700 steps: Why it takes so long to produce a computer chip (The Washington Post / Jeanne Whalen)